My question is: do we have the people and time, and is it worth it given that there might be services out there already which satisfy our need?
For what it’s worth, I’ve started making a number of IRC clients in my time, but never quite finished any of them. That’s not down to an innate difficulty with the protocol, but more down to not having the motivation to finish something which I don’t necessarily personally need, especially when IRC seems to be dying.
In this instance the motivation factor might be different, but I don’t want us to be suffering a severe bout of NIH syndrome.
I don’t want to come across as too cynical, but I’m not sure people will be too enthusiastic for a IRC client built for Mozillians. If, on the other hand, this was framed as a Mozilla-built chat application for everybody, which is secure, respects your privacy, implements cryptography for the common person, but which is built upon an established protocol (that being IRC), and is free and open source through and through, then I might feel a bit different…
The ones I see are:
- Solved, as you say, by logging past messages and displaying them in the client
- Push notifications
- There are various services around for push notifications which could be hooked into on the server side (assuming this is a hosted, web-based IRC client)
- File sharing
- Again, we could hook into some other service, host it ourselves, or use the magic of WebRTC (though that wouldn’t work too well with historical uploaded files)
- Could be achieved by just displaying thumbnails of pictures linked, or some human readable markup (so people connected through IRC conventionally don’t get gobbledygook)
- Replying to specific messages
- Possibly not required, but again could be achieved though human readable markup